Cross-installing debian-arm from a PC

Thu Jul 21 22:46:02 CEST 2005

Dear all,

I announced it already on the jornada lists, but I'll announce it
again, not only to include debian-handheld, but because of some slight

I have written a script to make it easy to cross-install a debian-arm
installation from a linux PC. My purpose was to create an image for my
jornada 820, but the same procedure can be used for pretty much any target
machine, arm or not arm, handheld or not handheld, with a little bit
of configuration.

Help welcome in making it a better script.

* There was a lag in sourceforge making the script visible by ViewCVS,
but now it's there. You can always checkout the latest version
directly from cvs.
* Be sure to edit and customize the script before you run it, or it
might do things in the "wrong" path.
* There script must be run as root, because it invokes dpkg, mount,
chroot, and it registers qemu-arm to binfmt_misc. Run it inside a
qemu-system-i386 or user-mode-linux if you want to contain it.
* on a 1GHz Athlon with enough RAM, it installs *much* faster than a
native debian on the jornada 820.
* a few programs won't run inside qemu-arm (notably clisp), and so you
might have to dpkg-reconfigure a few things natively before you have a
perfectly running machine.
* You have to answer the questions of debconf and configure your
machine yourself. I don't know how to automate that -- help welcome.
* I just realize there is a script qemu-make-debian-root that does
similar things, but won't cut it for our purposes.
* my selection of packages makes it a 383MB install plus 282MB that
remain on the PC server (to be made available via NFS if you want to
use dpkg or read docs), 196MB of which are apt package archives. YMMV.
* I didn't rerun the whole script from scratch after modifying it, so
beware the bug. Use logs, have backups.

Happy happy joy joy

[ François-René ÐVB Rideau | Reflection&Cybernethics | ]
>From a programmer's point of view, the user is a peripheral that types
when you issue a read request. -- P. Williams

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